The High Five for Startups: expert business and legal insights to help college students form and finance businesses

Today, we released the Founders Workbench High Five for Startups. The checklist provides essential tips to help college entrepreneurs navigate the legal and organizational challenges of starting and running a business.

“Undergraduate entrepreneurship is on the rise, but undergraduate students often don’t have the same access to capital and advisory resources as career entrepreneurs,” said David Van Horne, Goodwin Procter partner and Founders Workbench contributor. “We created the High Five for Startups to help student entrepreneurs save time and money, and overcome some of the initial challenges often faced by first time founders.”

Founders Workbench High Five for Startups

1) Choose the Appropriate Legal Structure – Corporation or LLC? One of the first and most important steps in creating a company is choosing a legal structure that best suits the long-term needs of the business and its owners.

2) Use Trusted Legal Documents – While they may appear to save time and money, random legal documents found on the Internet may not be accurate, complete or appropriate. Identify a trusted source for legal documents when starting a business.

3) Protect Your Intellectual Property – With this year’s changes to the intellectual property laws, entrepreneurs need to move faster than ever to protect their key intellectual property. When launching a business, founders should research common intellectual property problems, patents and trade secrets, and trademarks.

4) Understand Financing Options – This year’s dramatic additions to crowdfunding laws have created new options for financing a business. Before rushing into a Kickstarter campaign or deciding to pursue angel funding, take the time to understand the startup financing options available.

5) Brush Up on Startup Jargon – Even before you start a business, it’s never too soon to research and absorb the key terms and jargon regularly used by investors and legal counsel. Founders Workbench Deal Dictionary app is an ideal primer on key deal terminology.

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